Caterpillar Inc. last week reported record-breaking 2011 sales and revenues of $60.14 billion, an increase of 41 percent from $42.59 billion in 2010. Profit in 2011 was $4.93 billion, an 83-percent increase from $2.70 billion in 2010. Profit per share of $7.40 was up 78 percent from $4.15 in 2010. Excluding the impact of the acquisition of Bucyrus International, 2011 profit was $7.79 per share, up 88 percent from a year ago.

Fourth-quarter sales and revenues in 2011 were an all-time quarterly record at $17.24 billion, an increase of 35 percent compared with $12.81 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010. Fourth-quarter profit was $1.55 billion compared with $968 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. Profit of $2.32 per share was 58-percent higher than the $1.47 per share in the fourth quarter of 2010.

“Our strategy is squarely focused on customers, and in 2011 our employees, suppliers and dealers delivered,” said Doug Oberhelman, Caterpillar chairman and CEO. “We improved product quality, invested significantly in manufacturing capacity and product development, and improved our market position. We completed two large acquisitions — Bucyrus and Motoren- Werke Mannheim Holding GmbH — in important growth industries that are a great strategic fit and provide our customers an even broader range of products.

“The 2011 increase in sales and revenues was the largest percentage increase in any year since 1947, and much of it was driven by demand for Caterpillar products and services outside of the United States. As a result, 2011 was a record-breaking year for U.S. exports at nearly $20 billion, which supported thousands of jobs in the United States, demonstrating the tangible benefits of free trade. Sales and export growth creates jobs, both in the United States and around the world. Not including acquisitions, our global workforce grew by more than 14,000 in 2011, and since the start of 2010, we have increased our workforce by more than 33,000, with more than 14,000 of those jobs in the United States,” Oberhelman added.

The company attributed strong growth in most of the industries it serves and a focus on executing its updated strategy as the foundation of its record-breaking 2011 financial results.

The outlook for 2012 sales and revenues has increased and is expected to be in a range of $68 to $72 billion. Profit per share is expected to be about $9.25 at the middle of the sales and revenues range. The outlook includes full-year results for the Bucyrus and MWM acquisitions that the company completed in 2011.

“While we have much to do in 2012, we’ll be particularly focused on four things — continuing to improve quality, our investment in product development, integrating our acquisitions and adding production capacity,” said Oberhelman. “We’re very tight on production capacity for many of our products and are continuing to invest in new and existing factories. Our investments in capital expenditures and R&D will certainly add cost in 2012, but it’s the right thing to do. We expect 2012 to be a new sales record at a time when construction activity in the United States and Europe — two large markets for us — are still depressed.”

Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar Inc. is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives.